Hand Skin Cracking?

Reading time: 400 words, 1 page, 1 to 2 minutes.

Some years ago, the skin on my hands began to crack occasionally. Although a bit painful, my concern was infection because human skin, our body’s largest organ, is our first line of defence against a hostile environment.

The problem usually cleared up after a while and I attributed it to an allergy of some sort. As time went on, it happened more often and lasted longer. “Ah,” I thought, “another unpublished feature of old age.” The doctor prescribed a corticosteroid cream. I used it but I’m not sure if it actually worked because the cracks eventually healed anyway. Besides, there’s concern that long-term use of corticosteroid cream thins the skin.

I put on my detective cap and did some sleuthing. I use regular, (non-bacterial) bar soap in the shower and I have no problem with skin cracking except on my hands. When I wash my hands in the sink, I used anti-bacterial liquid soap. I wondered if there was a connection with anti-bacterial soap and hand skin cracking.

So, it was time to experiment. About a year ago, I switched to hard bar soap for hand washing. And, voila! No more hand skin cracking since abandoning anti-bacterial liquid soap. By the way, at work we use a commercial (not retail) liquid soap for hand washing; it is NOT anti-bacterial, I still use it and my skin isn’t cracking.

I concluded that it is not liquid soap but the anti-bacterial ingredients in soap that is causing skin cracking. So, if you have a problem with skin cracking on your hands, try switching to soap that is NOT anti-bacterial. That might just do the trick.

There are reasons to question the Triclosan in anti-bacterial soap so I’ve been looking for a liquid soap that was NOT anti-bacterial, but everything I see on store shelves is anti-bacterial. If you know of any liquid soap that is NOT anti-bacterial, please leave a comment below because I’d much rather use liquid soap as bar soap because it’s not as messy. I think others might want to know, too.

May 11, 2014

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About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I'm back in stocks. I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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6 Responses to Hand Skin Cracking?

  1. anon says:

    “If you know of any liquid soap that is NOT anti-bacterial, please leave a comment below […]”
    You can always liquidify bar soap with a water and then put it into a bottle. Not the best solution, but a solution nonetheless.

  2. Nat says:

    Um, soap is anti-bacterial all by itself. It doesn’t need any chemicals added to it. just a marketing gimmick for extra sales.

  3. Carola says:

    I never use anti-bacterial soap. It does more harm than good. You should not indiscriminately kill all bacteria as your body has far more necessary good bacteria than bad. I like the Soft Soap products for hand washing, especially the Sea Mineral one which is a bit gritting and great after mucking around in the garden. Even liquid dish detergent, (I like Dawn) I avoid anti-bacterial. Most shampoos contain triclosan as well, but “Live Clean” products do not. Better for you, better for the environment.

    • gerold says:

      Thanks for the great information, Carola. I shall hunt around for Sea Mineral soap.

      And you’re right about Triclosan in most shampoos. It seems the more expensive the shampoo, the more questionable chemicals it contains.

      – Gerold

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